There is a huge difference between trademark registration and design registration. Yes, Both of them are intellectual property and yes, at a hindsight, they might appear to be the same but, knowing the difference between them is important to make sure that you get the right protection for your IP.
Trademark registration protects the symbol or mark that actually signifies your business and design registration protects the design of your products. Even thinking about this line might make you think-what is even the difference between the two? Well, there are at least 5 differences between design and trademark registration that you should always be aware of.
1. Difference in definition:
- A Trademark signifies a mark that represents your trade. It can be anything from a logo, word etc. This mark distinguishes your product from the others. A trademark registration protects these marks from infringement.
- A Design is an exclusively diagrammatic representation. In order to provide protection to the designs, patent registration is done.
2. Difference in innovation:
- A Trademark can be anything from a word mark, logo to a shape to even a word. To that end, it does need to be unique, but it doesn’t need innovation.
- A Design serves a particular purpose and an application. It is not merely a representation. To that end, it is designed by experts. Therefore, it needs to be innovative.
3. Difference in protection:
- A Trademark registration is meant to protect the mark that symbolises a business. How the trademark looks is the factor that determines what is trademark. Protection is provided so other companies can’t use the same mark without the fear of being sued. Further a trademark search is required before the registration process.
- A Design registration is meant to protect the design of the product. Here, we are not only talking about how the product looks, but we are talking about what the product does as well.
4. Difference in protection act:
- A Trademark is protected under the Trademark Act 1999. This act states that a mark that is capable of being represented graphically and is capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one person from another person can only be considered or registration.
- A Design is protected under the Design act 2000. This act states that only he features of shape, configuration, ornament, pattern or composition of lines or colours applied to an article whether in two dimensional or three dimensional or in both forms, by any industrial process or means, whether manual, mechanical or chemical, separate or combined, which in the finished article appeal to and judge solely by the eye.
5. Difference in statutory rights:
- A Trademark has some statutory rights. To that end, an unregistered trademark is not denied under legal recourse and representation.
- A Design also has some statutory rights. However, these rights are not as powerful as trademark. To that end, if the actual article does not match with the documentation of the article, some sort of remedial action can be taken.
The above mentioned are the main difference between trademark and design registration. Knowing these differences would assist you in making an informed as to which one to go for when it comes to IP protection.